HIDDEN DATA ANGERS LAWMAKERS STATE SENATOR CRITICIZES OFFICIALS FOR SECRECY.Byline: Kerry Cavanaugh Staff Writer
State regulators in charge of monitoring radioactive waste faced harsh criticism Friday from state lawmakers, who claimed that secrecy, poor oversight and lax enforcement have led to the dumping of radioactive material radioactive material Radiation A substance that contains unstable–radioactive–atoms that give off radiation as they decay. See Radioactive decay. in local landfills.
The Senate Select Committee on Urban Landfills hearing came just two days after environmental regulators announced that radioactive material had been detected at 29 of 50 landfills tested, including 18 with unusually high levels.
The Calabasas, Bradley and Sunshine Canyon landfills in the San Fernando Valley San Fernando Valley
Valley, southern California, U.S. Northwest of central Los Angeles, the valley is bounded by the San Gabriel, Santa Susana, and Santa Monica mountains and the Simi Hills. and Puente Hills near Whittier were among those that tested positive for radioactivity.
State Sen. Gloria Romero, D-Rosemead, chastised chas·tise
tr.v. chas·tised, chas·tis·ing, chas·tis·es
1. To punish, as by beating. See Synonyms at punish.
2. To criticize severely; rebuke.
3. Archaic To purify. the state Department of Health Services Department of Health Services may refer to:
``DHS DHS Department of Homeland Security (USA)
DHS Department of Human Services
DHS Department of Health Services
DHS Demographic and Health Surveys
DHS Dirhams (Morocco national currency) can't tell us where the waste went,'' said Romero, who led the hearing. ``I think based on these results, we can make a pretty good guess - Bradley Landfill, Sunshine Canyon Landfill, Puente Hills Landfill.''
Each of the four Los Angeles-area dumps contained high levels of radioactivity in the leachate leach·ate
A product or solution formed by leaching, especially a solution containing contaminants picked up through the leaching of soil. , or the liquid that accumulates in the bottom of the landfills.
Officials found that radioactivity exceeded drinking water drinking water
supply of water available to animals for drinking supplied via nipples, in troughs, dams, ponds and larger natural water sources; an insufficient supply leads to dehydration; it can be the source of infection, e.g. leptospirosis, salmonellosis, or of poisoning, e.g. standards in the groundwater at Calabasas Landfill, but operators said that was due to high levels of uranium occurring naturally in the area's soil.
State water officials cautioned that more study is needed to determine the extent of radioactivity in landfills and whether the levels pose a health risk.
The water testing was ordered by the state Water Resources Control Board last year after activists discovered that the Department of Health Services had long deemed low-level radioactive materials safe enough to sent to city dumps.
After being sued by the nuclear watchdog group Committee to Bridge the Gap, the department has launched an environmental study to help develop a new standard for decommissioning Decommissioning is a general term for a formal process to remove something from operational status. Some specific instances include:
Calabasas City Councilwoman Janice Lee said she has little faith in state health regulators who have kept residents in the dark on radioactive dumping and contamination.
``I believe there should be a federal grand jury convened to investigate the Department of Health Services repeatedly acting to withhold, conceal and distort the level of risk to our citizens,'' Lee told Romero.
But Alan Pastenak with the California Radioactive Materials Forum said the hearing was not designed to get the best science on radioactive waste.
``Unwarranted fear will lead to bad science policy,'' he told Romero.